University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Rubega CV

CURRICULUM VITAE

 

M. A. Rubega

Department of Ecology and

Evolutionary Biology

University of Connecticut

75 North Eagleville Rd., U-3043

Storrs, CT 06269

 

TEL: (860)486-4502

FAX: (860)486-6364

margaret.rubega@uconn.edu

www.eeb.uconn.edu/faculty/rubega/Rubega.htm

 

Research Interests:

 

Avian conservation; functional and integrative biology, especially of the feeding structures. Feeding mechanics, functional aspects of behavior and ecology of birds. Study animals include: monk parakeets; scolopacid shorebirds; hummingbirds; bee eaters, European starlings and their interaction with invasive plants; saltmarsh sparrows; swifts and swallows.

 

 

Academic Background:

 

2006 – present Associate Professor Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut.

Connecticut State Ornithologist.

Curator; Ornithology Collections, UConn Biodiversity Collection.

 

1998 – 2005 Assistant Professor, Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut.

 

1997 – 1998 Research Assistant Professor, Environmental & Resource Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno.

 

1993 – 1997 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Environmental & Resource Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno.

 

1993 Ph.D., Biology, under Dr. George Lauder, University of California, Irvine.

 

1983 B.S., Biology, Southern Connecticut State University.

 

 

 


Affiliations:

 

Center for Environmental Science and Engineering (CESE; http://www.cese.uconn.edu/ ) The Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of Connecticut leads and promotes interdisciplinary research, education and outreach in environmental science, engineering, policy, and sustainability. ) Faculty Advisory Board member

Center for Conservation and Biodiversity (CCB; http://hydrodictyon.eeb.uconn.edu/department/bioconctr/ ) A primary goal of the Center is to promote research and training in the conservation of biodiversity on the local, national and international scene. Basic scientific research is fostered along with applications to solving sustainable conservation issues. The Center provides financial support for graduate and undergraduate training and research in the fields of conservation, ecology, evolution and systematics. The Center is working with several private foundations and corporations to establish research fellowships for students, to fund an annual research award competition for graduate students, and to provide student travel to conduct research and attend professional meetings.).
 

Previous Research Experience and Additional Professional Employment:

 

1993 – 1998 Research on the functional ecology and mechanisms of salt tolerance in American Avocet and Black-necked Stilt populations in Great Basin wetlands of variable water quality.

 

1996 – present Research on the biomechanics of feeding on meiofaunitic prey in calidrid sandpipers.

 

1989 – 1993 Dissertation research on the foraging ecology, feeding mechanics, and functional morphology of the feeding apparatus in Red-necked Phalaropes.

 

1991 – 1992 Monitor, California Least Tern Recovery Program.

 

1988 – 1989 November – March; research on the evolution of endothermy in Charadriiformes birds, and oil spill effects on South Polar Skuas. Palmer Station, Antarctica.

 

1987 – 1988 July – August; Field research leader, research on the ecology and energetics of colonial nesting in seabirds. St. George Island, Alaska.

 

1986 February – August; Research assistantship on the foraging and breeding ecology of Wood Storks. Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Georgia.

 

1985 April – September; Field research leader, ecological and habitat replacement studies of breeding Roseate Terns. Great Gull Island Field Station of the American Museum of Natural History.

 

1983 – 1984 Christmas Bird Count Editor, American Birds, National Audubon Society, New York.

 

1979, 1982 – 1984 Summers; Research assistantships, ecological and behavioral studies of breeding Common and Roseate terns. Great Gull Island Field Station of the American Museum of Natural History.

 

1982 – 1983 Laboratory Assistant, Southern Connecticut State University.

 

1980 – 1983 Preparator of specimens, University Museum, Southern Connecticut State University.

 

1981 Student Conservation/Research Aide, Cape Cod National Seashore, May – August. Least Tern conservation and monitoring; habitat protection and public education.

Publications:

 

Peer Reviewed Publications:

 

(Names followed by asterisks are undergraduate researchers I have mentored)

 

Rico Guevara, A., T. Fan, and M.A. Rubega. Hummingbird tongues are elastic micropumps. Submitted, Proc. Roy. Soc., B.

 

Burgio, K., M.A. Rubega, and D. Sustaita. 2014. Nest-building behavior of Monk Parakeets and insights into potential mechanisms for reducing damage to utility poles. PeerJ. 2:e601 http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.601

 

Steeves, Tanner K., Shannon B. Kearney-McGee, Margaret A. Rubega, Calvin L. Cink and Charles T. Collins. 2014. Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology doi:10.2173/bna.646

 

Sustaita, D., and M.A. Rubega. The anatomy of a shrike bite: bill shape and bite performance in Loggerhead Shrikes. In press, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

 

Sustaita, D., C.L. Owen, J. C. Villarreal, and M.A. Rubega. Morphometric tools for sexing California populations of Loggerhead Shrikes based on DNA analysis. In press, Southwestern Naturalist.

 

Rico Guevara, A., and M.A. Rubega. 2012. Hummingbird feeding mechanics: comments on the capillarity model. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109(15):E867. (doi: 10.1073/pnas.1119750109)

 

Rico Guevara, A., and M.A. Rubega. 2011. The hummingbird tongue is a fluid trap, not a capillary tube. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(23): 9356-9360 (www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1016944108).

 

Merow, C., N. Lafleur, J. Silander, A. Wilson, and M.A. Rubega. 2011. Predicting bird-mediated spread of invasive plants across northeastern North America. American Naturalist.178: 30-43.

 

LaFleur, N., M.A. Rubega, and J. Parent*. 2009. Does frugivory by European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) facilitate the spread of fleshy-fruited invasive plants? Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 136(3): 332-341.

 

 

Gjerdrum, C., K. Sullivan-Wiley*, E. King, M.A. Rubega, and C.S. Elphick. 2008. Egg and chick fates during tidal flooding of saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow nests. Condor 110(3): 579-584.

 

Gjerdrum, C., C.S. Elphick, and M.A. Rubega. 2008. How well can we model saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow numbers and productivity of using habitat features? Auk 125(3):608 – 617.

 

LaFleur, N., M.A. Rubega, and C.S. Elphick. 2007. Invasive fruits, novel foods and choice: an investigation of frugivory with European starlings and American robins. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 119(3):429-438.

 

Humphreys, S.*, C.S. Elphick, C. Gjerdrum, M.A. Rubega.  2007. Testing the function of nest domes in Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows. Journal of Field Ornithology   78(2): 152-158.

 

Gjerdrum, C., C.S. Elphick, and M. Rubega. 2005. Nest site selection and nesting success in saltmarsh breeding sparrows: the importance of nest habitat, timing and study site differences. Condor 107:849-862.

 

Schwenk, K. and M. A. Rubega. 2005. Diversity of vertebrate feeding systems. Pp. 1-41. In: Physiological and Ecological Adaptations to Feeding in Vertebrates. J. M. Starck and T. Wang (eds), Science Publ., Enfield, NH.

 

G. Yanega and M.A. Rubega. 2004. Hummingbird jaw bends to aid insect capture. Nature 428:615. (Links to the pdf, news reports and radio interview at www.eeb.uconn.edu/faculty/rubega/Rubega.htm)

 

Rubega, M., and L.W. Oring. 2004: Excretory organ development and implications for salt tolerance in hatchling American avocets. Journal of Avian Biology 35:13-15.

 

M. Becker*, M.A. Rubega, and L.W. Oring. 2002. Development of feeding mechanics in growing birds: scything behavior in juvenile American Avocets. Bird Behavior 15:1-10.

 

Kitasky, A.S., G.L. Hunt, Jr., E.N. Flint, M.A. Rubega, and M.B. Decker. 2001. Resource allocation in breeding seabirds: responses to fluctuations in their food supply. Marine Ecology Progress Series 206:283-296.

 

Warnock, N., M. Rubega, and C. Elphick. 2001. Shorebirds in the marine environment. Pgs. 581-616 In: Biology of Marine Birds. J. Burger and B.A. Schreiber, eds. Academic Press.

 

Rubega, M.A. 2000. Feeding in birds: approaches and opportunities. Pgs. 395-408 In: Feeding: Form, Function, and Evolution of Tetrapod Vertebrates. K. Schwenk, ed. Academic Press.

 

Rubega, M.A., D.S. Schamel and D. Tracy. 2000: Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus). In The Birds of North America, No. 538. A. Poole and F. Gill, eds. The Birds of North America, Inc.

 

Rubega, M.A. 1997. Surface tension prey transport in shorebirds: how widespread is it? Ibis 139:488-493.

 

Rubega, M.A., and J. Robinson. 1997. Water salinization and the management of Great Basin wetlands for shorebirds. International Wader Studies 9:45-54.

 

Obst, B.S., W.M. Hamner, E. Wolanski, P.P. Hamner, M.A. Rubega, and B. Littlehales. 1996. Kinematics and fluid mechanics of spinning in phalaropes. (+ cover photo.) Nature 384:121.

 

Rubega, M.A. 1996. Sexual size dimorphism in red-necked phalaropes and the functional significance of non-sexual bill structure variation for feeding performance. Journal of Morphology 228:45-60.

 

Elphick, C.S. and M.A. Rubega. 1995. Prey choices and foraging efficiency of recently-fledged California Gulls at Mono Lake, California. Great Basin Naturalist 55:363-367.

 

Rubega, M.A., and C. Inouye. 1994. Switching in phalaropes: feeding limitations, the functional response and water policy at Mono Lake, CA. Biological Conservation 70:205-210.

 

Rubega, M.A., and B.S. Obst. 1993. Surface tension feeding in phalaropes: discovery of a novel feeding mechanism. Auk 110:169-178 + frontispiece.

 

Kennicutt, M.C. II, S.T. Sweet, W. Fraser, M.E. Culver, W.L. Stockton, K. Dunton, L. Martin, D.M. Karl, L. Quetin, D. Kaur, C.D. Amsler, R.M. Ross, R. Rowley, M. Neushul, J. Hyland, J. Kennett, J. Campbell, M. Fry, B. Todd, A. Bennett, Z.A. Eppley, M.A. Rubega, T. Targett, P. Grecay, O. Lecaros Palma, G. Ferrerya, V. Alder. 1990. Oil spill in Antarctica. Environmental Science and Technology 24:620-624.

 

Eppley, Z.A., and M.A. Rubega. 1990. Indirect effects of an oil spill: reproductive failure in a population of South Polar Skuas following the Bahia Paraiso oil spill in Antarctica. Marine Ecology Progress Series 67:1-6.

 

Eppley, Z.A., and M.A. Rubega. 1990. Skua survival – reply to Trivelpiece et al. Nature 345:211.

 

Eppley, Z.A., M.A. Rubega, and M.L. Tasker. 1989. Reproductive success of kelp gulls and south polar skuas at Palmer Station, Antarctic Peninsula, 1988-89. Antarctic Journal 24:200-202.

 

Eppley, Z.A., and M.A. Rubega. 1989. Indirect effects of an oil spill. Nature 340:513.

 

Other publications, products:

 

Technical Reports

Sustaita, Diego, and Margaret Rubega (PI). August 2013. Final Project Report to NSF, Dissertation Research: Biomechanics of Feeding in Loggerhead Shrikes.

 

C.S. Elphick, S. Meiman, and M.A. Rubega. 2011. The benefits of salt marsh restoration to globally vulnerable birds. Final report to Connectict Sea Grant.

 

Elphick, C.S., T. Bayard, S. Meiman, and M.A. Rubega. 2009. A comprehensive assessment of the distribution of saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrows in Connecticut. Final Report to Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Long Island Sound Programs (32 pp.)

 

Elphick, C.S., C, Gjerdrum, P. Comins and M.A. Rubega. 2005. Saltmarsh-breeding sparrows in Long Island Sound: Status and productivity of globally important populations. Final report to Environmental Protection Agency and Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. (94 pp.)

 

Elphick, C.S., C, Gjerdrum, and M.A. Rubega. 2004. Does artificial lighting affect breeding by beach-nesting birds? Report to Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

 

 

Rubega, M.A. 1992. Feeding limitations and ecology of Red-necked Phalaropes at Mono Lake, with incidental observations on other species. Subconsultant’s report to Jones and Stokes Associates, for Environmental Impact Report for the Review of the Mono Basin Water Rights of the City of Los Angeles. California State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Rights, Sacramento, CA.

 

Patents

 

Burgio, K. and Rubega M., Inventors; U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/842,608, filed July 3, 2013- Nesting Bird Exclusion Device.  This device is licensed to Midsun LLC, a Connecticut company that specializes in equipment for utility companies; we are in talks with United Illuminating to do a field test on their lines.

 

Newspapers:

 

Rubega, M.A. Magnificent Bird Long Thought Extinct: National Refuge Saved Woodpecker. OpEd piece, appeared in the May 6, 2005 Hartford Courant.

 

Solicited Scientific Writing for the Public:

 

Rubega, M.A., S. Kearney, and T.Steeves. 2013. Chimney Swifts. In: Connecticut State of the Birds (M. Bull, ed.) Connecticut Audubon Society.

 

Elphick, C.S., J. Hill, M.A. Rubega. 2008. Saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow. In: Connecticut State of the Birds. (M. Bull, ed.) Connecticut Audubon Society.

 

Cech, R. J.B. Dunning, Jr., C. Elphick, and M.A. Rubega. Flight, form and function. Pgs. 8-38; and Cech, R., and M.A. Rubega. Origin, evolution and systematics. Pgs. 39-50 in: National Audubon Society, The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior. 2001. D.A. Sibley, C.S. Elphick, J.B. Dunning, eds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. (This book communicates scientific knowledge about birds to a lay audience in a clear, concise and readable style. Although not initially envisioned as a textbook, it will be marketed in part as an introductory text [e.g., for community college ornithology courses]. Widely featured in the media [e.g., Science, Science News, and the New York Times], it has been on the NYT Bestseller’s List and has sold over 100,000 copies.)

 

Rubega, M.A. 2001. Birds: Phalaropes. pp 2142-2149 In: Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences. J. Steele, S. Thorpe, and K. Turekian, eds. Academic Press.

 

Rubega, M.A.,and H.M. Weiss. 1995. Birds. In Marine animals of southern New England and New York: identification keys to common nearshore and shallow water macrofauna, by H.M. Weiss. State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut, and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

 

 

Book Reviews:

 

Rubega, M.A. 1999. Vertebrate Life, 5th edition, by F.H. Pough, C.M. Janis, and J.B. Heiser. Book Review. Quart. Rev. Biol. 74 (4):478-479.

 

Rubega, M.A.. 1994. Bird life of coasts and estuaries, by Peter N. Ferns. Book Review.Auk 112:274-275.

 

Rubega, M.A. 1994. Nesting birds of the coastal islands: a naturalist’s year on Galveston Bay, by John C. Dyes. Book Review. Auk 112:274.

 

 

Grants:

 

2012 $31,632 Inventory and Assessment of Greatest Conservation Need Avian Species. CT Department of Environmental Protection. M. Rubega, PI

 

2011 $26,667 Inventory and Assessment of Greatest Conservation Need Avian Species. CT Department of Environmental Protection. M. Rubega, PI
     
2010 $32,958 Inventory and Assessment of Greatest Conservation Need Avian Species. CT Department of Environmental Protection. M. Rubega, PI (Co-PI: Chris Elphick) 5/1/2010 – 10/14/2010.

 

2009 $10,000 Graduate Research Assistantship Award to support Faculty Members in pursuit of Multidisciplinary Environmental Activities, UConn Center for Environmental Science and Engineering: Preparing specimens for research, education and outreach in the UConn Biological Collections. M. Rubega, P.I.

 

  $10,000 Graduate Research Assistantship Award to support Faculty Members in pursuit of Multidisciplinary Environmental Activities, UConn Center for Environmental Science and Engineering: Chimney Swift Conservation in CT. M. Rubega, P.I.

 

2008 $61,698 Connecticut Avian Insectivores: Habitat-use Study and Design of Artificial Nesting Structures for Chimney Swifts. CT Dept of Environmental Protection. M. Rubega, PI (C.S. Elphick, Co-PI)

 

2007 $123,104 Seed-dispersal mutualisms: the spatio-temporal dynamics of fleshy-fruited plants and their avian dispersers on landscapes. National Science Foundation. M. Rubega, PI (J. Silander, Co-PI).

 

2006    $139,165 Evaluating the benefits of salt marsh restoration and management for globally vulnerable birds. CT-Seagrant. M.Rubega , Co-PI (C.S. Elphick, PI).

 

  $24,952 A comprehensive assessment of the distribution of saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrows in Connecticut. CT DEP – OLISP. M. Rubega, Co-PI (C.S. Elphick, PI)
2003 $138,895 Determining the causes of area sensitivity: a prerequisite for saltmarsh bird conservation and restoration. CT-Seagrant. M. Rubega Co-PI (C.S. Elphick PI).

 

  $104,506 The fruits of success; examining the contribution of avian seed dispersal to the spread of invasive woody fruit-producing plants. USDA-NRI. M. Rubega, PI (N. LaFleur, Co-PI)

 

$11,725 Assessing the impact of mute swan grazing on Long Island Sound eelgrass beds. CT-DEP-OLISP. M. Rubega, Co-PI, with M. Huang, and C. Elphick).

 

2002 $102,874 Saltmarsh-breeding sparrows in Long Island Sound marshes: status and productivity of globally important populations. EPA/Seagrant. M. Rubega, Co-PI (C. Elphick, PI)

 

  $12,779 Saltmarsh-breeding sparrows along the Connecticut coast: status and productivity of globally important populations. CT-DEP Endangered Species Income Tax Fund. M. Rubega, Co-PI (C. Elphick, PI).

 

  $24,434 Saltmarsh-breeding sparrows in Long Island Sound Marshes: testing the status of globally important populations. CT DEP Office of Long Island Sound Projects. M. Rubega, Co-PI (C. Elphick, PI).

 

  $24,635 Effects of artificial lighting on beach-nesting waterbirds: integrating experimental and observational studies. CT DEP Office of Long Island Sound Projects. M. Rubega, PI (C. Elphick, Co-PI).

 

1999 $18,589 How many feeding mechanisms will fit on a needle-like beak? A phylogenetic analysis of feeding in sandpipers. University of Connecticut Research Foundation. M. Rubega, PI

 

1997 ($117,936) Salinity management in western wetlands: Effects of irrigated agriculture on avian diversity. United States Geological Survey. L. Oring, PI, M. Rubega, Co-PI, Grantwriter and original project Research Director (withdrew as Co-PI and Research Director), S. Haig, Co-PI

 

  $5,012 Biomechanics of feeding in calidrid sandpipers: What constitutes prey? (renewal) Canadian Wildlife Service-NSERC Research Network Program. L. Oring, PI; M. Rubega, Co-PI, Grantwriter and project Research Director.

 

1996 $5,000 Research Experiences for Undergraduates Supplement to the NSF grant below. National Science Foundation. L. Oring, PI; M. Rubega, Grantwriter and project Research Director.

 

  $5,107 Biomechanics of feeding in calidrid sandpipers: What constitutes prey? (renewal) Canadian Wildlife Service-NSERC Research Network Program. L. Oring, PI; M. Rubega, Co-PI, Grantwriter and project Research Director.

 

  $84,000 Salinization of Great Basin wetlands. Nevada State Agricultural Experiment Station, Hatch (5-year renewal). L. Oring, PI; M. Rubega, Principal Grantwriter and project Research Director.

 

1995

$150,857 Habitat quality: A hidden component of wetland fragmentation. National Science Foundation. L. Oring, PI; M. Rubega, Principal Grantwriter and project Research Director.

 

  $100,000 Salt tolerances of wildlife: Helping to resolve water conflicts with agriculture. United States Department of Agriculture. L. Oring, PI; M. Rubega, Co-PI, Principal Grantwriter and project Research Director.

 

1994 $50,000 Salinization of Great Basin wetlands. Nevada State Agricultural Experiment Station, Hatch. L. Oring , PI; M. Rubega, Principal Grantwriter and project Research Director.

 

  $35,000 Salinization of Great Basin wetlands. Desert Research Institute – Water Resources Center. L. Oring, PI; M. Rubega, Principal Grantwriter and project Research Director.

 

  $4,875 Salinization of Nevada’s wetlands. Nevada EPSCoR. L. Oring, PI; M. Rubega, Principal Grantwriter and project Research Director.

 

1991 $900 Dissertation research. University of California Travel Fund.

 

1990 $10,889 Foraging ecology of aquatic birds at Mono Lake. University Research Expeditions. B. Obst, PI; M. Rubega, Grantwriter and Researcher. University of California, Los Angeles.

 

1989 $8,750 Experimental examination of feeding behavior in Wilson’s Phalaropes at Mono Lake. University of California Water Resources Center. T. Bradley, PI; M. Rubega, Principal Grantwriter and Researcher.

 

  $950 Dissertation research. University of California Travel Fund.

 

  $2,500 Feeding limitations in Red-necked Phalaropes at Mono Lake. Mono Lake Foundation.

 

  $10,000 Feeding behavior and prey preference in phalaropes at Mono Lake. Jones and Stokes Associates, consultants to the California State Water Resources Control Board (through a gift to the University of California, Irvine, Foundation) G. Lauder, PI; M. Rubega, Principal Grantwriter and Researcher.

 

  $875 Dissertation research. University of California Travel Fund.

 

Teaching:

 

University of Connecticut:

 

Since 1998 Biology of the Vertebrates

Ornithology

Ornithology Laboratory

Communicating Science to the Non-scientist (Graduate Seminar)

The Biology of Invasive Species (Graduate Seminar)

Seminar in Biodiversity (Graduate Seminar)

Intensive Tutorial in Avian Anatomy (Graduate)

Seminar in Job Seeking Skills for Academic Careers (Graduate)

 

 

University of Nevada, Reno:
   
1994-1997 Developed and co-taught a graduate seminar in the Application of Biomechanics to Ecological Problems.
  Guest Lecturer: Natural Resource Management, Physiological Ecology, Avian Ecology & Management.

 

 

University of California, Irvine:  
   
1986 – 1992 Teaching assistant in: General Biology (2 quarters), Behavioral Ecology (3 quarters), Physiology (6 quarters).

 

Guest lecturer in Behavioral Ecology in 1989 and 1992.

 

Awarded the Edward A. Steinhaus Teaching Award, 1990.

 

 

Awards and Fellowships:

 

2005 Leopold Leadership Fellowship. Based at the Stanford Institute for the Environment, the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program provides scientists with intensive communications and leadership training to enhance their ability to communicate complex scientific information to non-scientific audiences, especially policy makers, the media, business leaders and the public. Twenty Fellows are selected annually through a competitive application process. These Fellowships are aimed at mid-career scientists, and I am one of only two assistant professors in a group of fellows that consists largely of full professors.

 

1991 Switzer Environmental Fellowship: $10,000 for excellence in research leading to habitat restoration or environmental conservation.

 

1990 Edward A. Steinhaus Teaching Award, for excellence in teaching to undergraduates.

 

1990 Best Student Paper Award: Annual Meeting of the American Ornithologists’ Union.

 

1989 Antarctic Service Medal.

 

1986 Tuition Fellowship, University of California, Irvine.

 

1979 Groton, CT, Senior Citizens Scholarship.

 

1979 City of Groton, CT, Honors Scholarship.

 

Invited Scholarly Presentations:

 

2013    Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT, in conjunction with a major exhibit on bird eggs in art and science.

 

2013    Virginia Tech University, Dept. of Biological Sciences

 

2012. Northern Arizona University, Dept of Biological Sciences

 

2012. Williams College, Dept. of Biology

 

2009. Stony Brook University, Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

 

2005. George Washington University, Dept. of Biological Sciences.

 

2004. Connecticut College, Dept. of Biology.

 

Cornell University, Ornithology Course Guest Lecture, Dept. of Eco. Evo. Bio.

2002. Mount Holyoke College, Dept. of Biology.

 

         University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Fish and Herp Study Group, Dept. of Biology.

 

2000. Fordham University, Department of Biology.

 

1999. Tufts University, Department of Biology.

 

1998. Linnaean Society of New York, American Museum of Natural History.

 

1997. University of Connecticut, Storrs; Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

 

         Oregon State University, Dept. of Fisheries and Wildlife.

 

         Imperial College at Silwood Park, Ascot, UK; Dept. of Biology.

 

1995. Oregon Institute of Marine Biology.

 

1994. Nevada Biodiversity Research Center Symposium: Shorebird Management in the Great Basin; University of Nevada, Reno.

 

1993. University of California, Los Angeles; Dept. of Biology.

 

1991. White Mountain Research Station Symposium: History of Water, Owens Valley and the Eastern Sierra Nevada.

 

  1. Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory, Mammoth Lakes, CA.

 

Presentations at Professional Meetings:

 

(Names followed by asterisks are undergraduate researchers I have mentored)

 

Rico Guevara, A., T.H. Fan, and M.A. Rubega. The Fast and Non-capillary Fluid Filling Mechanism in the Hummingbird’s Tongue. American Physical Society, Annual Meeting, March 4, 2014.

Rico Guevara, A., and M.A. Rubega. Ecological Implications of Hummingbird Feeding Mechanisms. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Janaury 2014, Austin, TX.

 

Sustaita, D., M.A. Rubega, and S.M. Farabaugh. Come on baby, let’s do the twist: the kinematics of killing in Loggerhead Shrikes (Passeriformes: Laniidae). Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Janaury 2014, Austin, TX

 

Burle, M.H., A. Rico Guevara, M.A. Rubega, and D. Lank. A hummingbird tongue in a shorebird head: Tuamoto sandpipers are nectar-feeders. Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Janaury 2013, San Francisco, CA.

 

Rico Guevara, A., and M.A. Rubega. Tongue loading and intraoral transport of nectar in hummingbirds. . Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Janaury 2013, San Francisco, CA.

 

Sustaita, D., M.A. Rubega, and G. Hartman. When biomechanics meets biogeochemistry: functional correlates of Loggerhead Shrike (Passeriformes: Laniidae) feeding ecology based on stable isotope analysis. . Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Janaury 2013, San Francisco, CA.

 

Burle, M.H., A. Rico Guevara, M.A. Rubega, and D. Lank. Independent evolution of nectarivory: tuamotu sandpipers are nectar-feeders. North American Ornithological Conference, August 2012, Vancouver, B.C

 

Sustaita, D., and M.A. Rubega. Integrating morphology, performance, and feeding ecology in Loggerhead Shrikes. North American Ornithological Conference, August 2012, Vancouver, B.C.

 

Elphick, C., C. Field, T. Bayard, S. Meiman, J. Hill, C. Gjerdrum, and M. Rubega. Projected extinction of tidal marsh sparrows following sea-level rise: Can people do anything?Society for Conservation Biology, July 2012. Oakland, CA.

 

Elphick, C.S., S.Meiman, and M. Rubega. 2011. Does salt marsh restoration benefit globally vulnerable birds? Connecticut SeaGrant Symposium, Groton, CT, USA.

 

Elphick, C.S. , T. Bayard, S. Meiman, J. Hill, M. Hoover, C. Gjerdrum, and M. Rubega.. 2010. Effects of sea-level rise on saltmarsh-specialist birds. Symposium on “Adaptation and endemism in and environmental threats to coastal marsh avifaunas”. 25th International Ornithological Congress, Campos do Jordão, Brazil.

 

Rubega, M.A. Panel presentation: ‘Using Twitter as a Teaching Tool in Science Classes.’ Invited presentation for a panel on Going Green on the Web: Social Media in Science and Environmental Advocacy and Education at the Social Learning Summit, American University, April 1-3, 2011, Washington, D.C.

 

Rubega, M.A. Get Your Students Twittering: Social Networking in Ornithology Classes. Invited Presentation, Workshop on Innovative Teaching in Ornithology, Annual meeting of the American Ornithologists’ Union, August 2009. (link at: http://www.aou.org/student/docs/AOU_wkshop_2009_Rubega.pdf)

 

Steeves, T., M.A. Rubega, and S. Kearney. It matters where the chimney is: Chimney Swift (Chaetura pelagica) habitat associations at multiple spatial scales. Presentation, Annual meeting of the American Ornithologists’ Union, August 2009.

 

Merow, C., N. Lafleur, J. Silander, A. Wilson, and M.A. Rubega. Predicting bird-mediated spread of invasive plants across northeastern North America.Presentation, 2009 Annual meeting of the Ecological Society of North America, August 2009.

 

Lafleur, N., C. Merow, M. Rubega, J. Silander. Exploring the spread of a bird-dispersed invasive plant using simulation modeling. Presentation, 2008 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America.

 

LaFleur, N., C. Merow., M. Rubega, J. Silander. Predicting the rate of spread for a bird-dispersed invasive plant using simulation modeling. Presentation, 2009 Annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Boston, MA.

 

M. Rubega, T. Steeves, and C. Elphick. Thermal performance of a lightweight prototype of an artificial nesting structure for chimney swifts (Chaetura pelagica). Poster, Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources, March 2009.

 

Elphick, C.S. , C, Gjerdrum, and M, A. Rubega, Saltmarsh sparrow conservation in Connecticut Connecticut Conference on Natural Resources. Storrs, CT. April 2007

 

Rubega, M.A. 2007. Feeding mechanisms in birds. Invited presentation in a symposium: The evolution of feeding mechanisms in vertebrates. Annual meeting, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Phoenix, AZ.

 

LaFleur, N., Rubega, M. and J. Parent.  The fruits of success: examining the contributions of avian seed dispersal to the spread of invasive, woody, fleshy-fruited plants.  91st Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Memphis, TN.

 

Rubega, M.A., C. Gjerdrum, K. Schwenk, G.M. Yanega, and K.A. Sullivan-Wiley*. 2005. Tongue-jerking in turnstones; a novel prey transport mechanism. Annual meeting, American Ornithologists’ Union, Santa Barbara.

 

Sullivan-Wiley, K.A.*, M.A. Rubega, and C. Sheppard. 2005. Biomechanics of prey processing in Carmine and White-throated bee-eaters (Merops). Annual meeting, American Ornithologists’ Union, Santa Barbara.

 

Yanega, G.M., and M.A. Rubega. 2005. The use of jaw flexion during insectivory in hummingbirds. Annual meeting, American Ornithologists’ Union, Santa Barbara.

Gjerdrum, C., C.S. Elphick, and M.A. Rubega. 2005. Nests out of water: strategies for success in a flooding environment. Annual meeting, American Ornithologists’ Union, Santa Barbara.

 

Humphreys, S.*, C. S. Elphick, C. Gjerdrum, and M. A. Rubega. 2005. What are the origins and functions of domed nests in Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrows? (Poster) Annual meeting, American Ornithologists’ Union, Santa Barbara.

 

Yanega, G., and M. Rubega. 2005. A comparative study of the functional morphology of insectivory in hummingbirds. Annual meeting, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, San Diego, CA.

 

Rubega, M.A., and K.Schwenk. 2004. Morphology and function of a hyobranchial joint in the ruddy turnstone, a Scolopacid shorebird. 7th International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology, Boca Raton, FL.

 

LaFleur, N. and M.A. Rubega. 2004. American Robins, European Starlings, and invasive fruits: A comparison of frugivore preferences. Annual Meeting, Ecological Society of America, Portland, OR.

 

Elphick, C.S., C. Gjerdrum, and M. Rubega. 2004. Does “light pollution” affect breeding by beach-nesting birds? (Poster) Annual meeting, Society for Conservation Biology, New York, New York,, USA.

 

LaFleur, N., M.A. Rubega, and J. Parent*. 2004. Do European Starlings (Sturnis vulgaris) facilitate the dispersal of fleshy-fruited woody invasives? (Poster) Annual Meeting, American Institute of Biological Sciences: Invasive Species: the Search for Solutions.

 

Rubega, M.A., and M.K. Ray**. 2004. Surface tension transport in red phalaropes Phalaropus fulicarius; an examination of interspecific variation in a common feeding mechanism. . Annual meeting, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, New Orleans

 

Yanega, G., and M.A. Rubega. 2004. Placing intramandibular kinesis in hummingbirds in the context of tetrapod feeding evolution. Annual meeting, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, New Orleans

 

Ray, M.K.* and M.A. Rubega. 2003. Surface tension transport in red phalaropes Phalaropus fulicarius (Poster). Annual meeting, American Ornithologists Union, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.

 

M.A. Rubega, J. Boster, and C.S. Elphick 2003. What do students learn about birds when they study ornithology? Annual meeting, American Ornithologists Union, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.

 

Elphick, C.S., C. Gjerdrum, P. Comins, and M.A. Rubega. 2003. Point counts reflect sparrow abundance but not necessarily breeding success. Annual meeting, American Ornithologists Union, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.

 

C. Gjerdrum, C.S. Elphick, and M.A. Rubega. 2003. Molt in Ammodramus sparrows; differences between species, sexes and sites. Annual meeting, American Ornithologists Union, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois.

 

Rubega, M.A., C. Gjerdrum, and G. Yanega. 2003. Motor pattern conservation and feeding mechanics in scolopacid shorebirds. Annual meeting, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Toronto.

 

G. Yanega and M.A. Rubega. 2003.The hummingbird bill as a utensil for insectivory: prey-capture and transport in the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Annual meeting, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Toronto.

 

C. Gjerdrum, C. Elphick, P. Comins, and M. Rubega. 2002. Conservation of saltmarsh sparrows in Long Island Sound marshes. Poster – Vertebrates of Tidal Marshes Symposium, Patuxent, Laurel, MD.

 

C. Elphick, C. Gjerdrum, P. Comins, and M. Rubega. 2002. What do point counts tell us about the size of breeding saltmarsh sparrow populations? Preliminary results. Poster – Vertebrates of Tidal Marshes Symposium, Patuxent, Laurel, MD.

 

M.A. Rubega, C. Gjerdrum, and G. Yanega. 2002. Variation and stereotypy in avian feeding: motor patterns and feeding mechanics in the Ruddy Turnstone. North American Ornithological Congress, New Orleans, LA.

 

Boster, J., M.A. Rubega, and C. Kempton. 2002. What do students learn about birds when they study ornithology? Contributed Poster and Abstract, 25th Annual conference of the Society of Ethonobiology.

 

Rubega, M.A, and K. Heath*. 2001. Skeletal development in hatchling avocets and stilts; the effects of salt stress on growth and ossification. Contributed paper, annual meeting, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Chicago, IL.

 

Rubega, M.A. 2000. Patterns, problems and opportunities in the study of avian feeding systems. Annual meeting, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Atlanta, GA.

 

Rubega, M.A., and G. Yanega. 2000. Leave no stone unturned; innate motor patterns, fulcrums and feeding in Arenaria interpres. Northeast Regional Meeting of the Division of Vertebrate Morphology, Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology, Amherst, MA.

 

Rubega, M.A. 1999. How does a flowerpecker eat? Problems and opportunities in the study of avian feeding systems. Annual meeting, American Ornithologists’ Union, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

 

Rubega, M.A.,L.W. Oring, and R. Elner. 1999. Are sandpipers filter feeders? An experimental test of the functional significance of tongue bristles in Western Sandpipers. Annual meeting, Society of Integrative and Comparative Biologists, Denver, CO.

 

Rubega, M.A., and L.W. Oring. 1997. Compensation for osmoregulatory stress: behavioral responses of hatchling American Avocets and Black-necked Stilts to salt loading. Annual meeting, American Ornithologist’s Union, Minneapolis, MN.

 

Harker, T.*, Rubega, M.A., and L.W. Oring. 1997. American avocets avoid osmoregulatory stress through feeding mechanics. Annual meeting, Cooper Ornithological Society, Hilo, HI.

 

Rubega, M.A.,and L.W. Oring. 1996. Salinity tolerance of hatchling avocets and stilts: limits to osmoregulation. Annual meeting, British Ecological Society, Durham, England.

 

Rubega, M.A., and L.W. Oring. 1996. Salt tolerance of hatchling recurvirostrids: salt gland development and physiological limits to osmoregulation. Joint meeting, American Ornithologists’ Union and Raptor Research Foundation, Boise, ID.

 

J. Wright*, R.S. Pardini, M.A. Rubega, and L.W. Oring. 1996. Plasma antioxidant status assay as a non-invasive field biomarker for avian indicator species. Annual meeting, Oxygen Society, Miami Beach, FL.

 

Butler, P.R.*, M.A. Rubega, and L. W. Oring. 1996. Vocal responses of recurvirostrid hatchlings to osmoregulatory stress. Joint meeting, American Ornithologists’ Union and Raptor Research Foundation, Boise, ID.

 

Rubega, M.A.1995. Surface tension feeding in shorebirds: how widespread is it? Joint meeting, Pacific Seabird Group and Colonial Waterbird Society, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

 

Rubega, M.A., L.W. Oring, and C. Hettinger*. 1995. Excretory organ development and implications for salt tolerance in hatchling American avocets. Joint meeting, Cooper Ornithological Society and CIPAMEX, La Paz, Baja California, Mexico.

 

Rubega, M.A., J.A. Robinson, and L.W. Oring. 1995. Investigating salinization effects on Great Basin waterbird populations. Poster presentation, IBGP – GCTE Workshop: Stress Effects on Future Terrestrial Carbon Fluxes, Lake Tahoe, CA.

 

Rubega, M.A.1994. Do big mouths do better? Sexual size-dimorphism, variation in bill morphology, and feeding performance of Red-necked Phalaropes. Joint meeting, American Ornithologists’ Union, Cooper Ornithological Society and Wilson Ornithological Society, Missoula, MT.

 

Rubega, M.A.1994. Bill morphology affects feeding performance of phalaropes but is not related to sexual size dimorphism. International Congress of Vertebrate Morphologists, Chicago, IL.

 

Rubega, M.A.1993. Foraging efficiency of free-living Red-necked Phalaropes at Mono Lake: a test of the usefulness of laboratory measures of feeding performance. Annual meeting, Pacific Seabird Group, Seattle, WA.

 

Elphick, C.S., and M.A. Rubega. 1993. Prey choices and foraging efficiency of juvenile California gulls at Mono Lake. Annual meeting, Pacific Seabird Group, Seattle, WA.

 

Rubega, M.A.1993. Effects of changing prey density on foraging Red-necked Phalaropes: the functional significance of sexual size-dimorphism in a changing environment. Annual meeting, American Ornithologists’ Union, Fairbanks, AK.

 

Rubega, M.A.1992. The effect of prey type and density on feeding efficiency of phalaropes: lessons from Mono Lake. Annual meeting, Pacific Seabird Group, Charleston, OR.

 

Rubega, M.A.1991. Surface tension feeding in shorebirds: a matter of morphology vs. behavior? Annual meeting, American Ornithologists’ Union, Montreal, Canada.

 

Rubega, M.A.1991. Feeding performance and beak morphology in phalaropes: a comparison of surface tension feeding in two shorebirds. Annual meeting, American Society of Zoologists, Atlanta, GA.

 

Rubega, M.A.1990. Discovery of a novel feeding mechanism: surface tension feeding in the Red-necked Phalarope. Annual meeting, American Ornithologists’ Union, Univ. of California, Los Angeles.

 

Rubega, M.A.1990. A novel solution to the problems of planktivory: feeding mechanics in Red-necked and Wilson’s phalaropes. Annual meeting, American Society of Zoologists, San Antonio, TX.

 

Professional Society Affiliations:

 

American Ornithologists’ Union

Association of Field Ornithologists

Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology (Divisions of Vertebrate Morphology, Comparative Biomechanics, Ecology, and Animal Behavior)

International Union of Vertebrate Morphologists

Sigma Xi

 

Service:

 

Peer Reviewer:            Acta Oecologica

                                    Auk: Ornithological Advances

Birds of North America (monograph series)

Bird Behavior (member of Editorial Board)

                                    Colonial Waterbirds

                                    Colloid and Interface Science

                                    Condor

                                    Conservation Biology

                                    Copeia

Current Ornithology

Journal of Avian Biology

Journal of Zoology

Marine Biology

                                    Netherlands Journal of Zoology

                                    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

                                    Proceedings of the Royal Society; Biology

                                    Systematic Biology

                                    Western Birds

                                    Zoosystema

 

 

Peer Reviewer for Granting Agencies:

Austrian Science Foundation

AAAS-WISC program

National Science Foundation:

Div. of Ecology/Ecological Biology

Div. of Integrative Biology and

Neuroscience (EEP and AB)

Div. of Systematics

Div. of International Programs

Graduate Fellowships

 

Mentor, 1994-1997, Howard Hughes Research Program for Undergraduates

 

Member, 1994-99, Student Awards Committee, American Ornithologist’s Union

Member, 2000, 2003, Student Awards Committee, Division of Ecology and Evolution, Society for Comparative Biology

 

Member, 2003 – 2011 Membership Diversity Committee, SICB.

 

Referee, 1996, 1997, 2004 – present Switzer Fellowship Competition

 

Member, 1999 – present, Technical Review Committee, National Audubon Society Important Bird Areas Program for Connecticut

 

Member, 2000 – present, Connecticut Grassland Conservation Working Group

 

Member, 2000 – present, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection Endangered Species Advisory Committee for Avian Species.

 

Member, 1999 – 2006, Faculty Advisory Board, Center for Conservation and Biodiversity, University of Connecticut

 

Member, 2006 – present, Advisory Board, Center for Environmental Science and Engineering, University of Connecticut

 

Member, 2006 – present, Science Advisory Board, The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks.

 

Board of Trustees member, 2007 – present, Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation.

 

Member, 2009 – 2013, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, University of Connecticut.

 

Extensive service as State Ornithologist since 1998, providing information and technical advice to state (e.g., Office of the Chair of the State Senate’s Environment Committee; Dept. of Environmental Protection) and federal (e.g. USFWS, US Forest Service) agencies, NGOs (e.g., Connecticut and National Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut Ornithological Association), birding organizations (e.g., Hartford and New Haven bird clubs) the media (e.g., NPR’s Science Friday http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/05/27/2011/examining-the-hummingbird-tongue.html and Living on Earth http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=10-P13-00034&segmentID=7 and BBC Radio http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b02mqmqc), and the public (including programs for elementary school children).